What is the Starter ?

Back when automobiles were first invented, the engine was started by hand, using a crank or rope, but today’s engines are far too powerful to be cranked over by hand. When starting the engine, today we use the ignition cylinder or push-button starter. The starter is a small electric motor that temporarily engages with the flywheel on the back of the engine. When you turn the key to the start position or press the start button, the starter engages with the flywheel, turning the engine. Once the engine is turning fast enough, the fuel injection and ignition system engage and run the engine. At this point, you can release the key or start button, and the starter disengages.

Why is the Starter Important?

Without the starter, you can’t start the engine, which means you’re not going anywhere. If you have a friend to tow your vehicle or you park on a hill, you might be able to start a manual-transmission vehicle without a starter, but we think you’ll agree that starting your car is much easier with the starter.

What are Some Common Problems with the Starter?

The operation of the starter is electrical and mechanical, depending on the battery, electrical system, ignition switch or push button, solenoid, electric motor, and a spur gear. Here are a few common problems with the starter:

  • A weak battery may not deliver enough energy to run the starter motor and turn over the engine. This might be related to alternator problems, battery aging, or accidentally draining the battery.
  • A weak starter may not be able to generate enough torque to turn the engine.
  • A broken starter solenoid may not be able to engage the spur gear on the engine flywheel.
  • Faulty relays or blown fuses may prevent electrical flow to the starter.
  • Engine mechanical problems may prevent the starter from turning it over.
  • Electrical problems in the ignition switch, start-stop button, or engine immobilizer problems may prevent you from starting your car.

What can Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers Do for You?

At Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers, we have ASE-Certified specialists, experienced in diagnosing and repairing problems with engine starters and those systems that enable it and power it. If you’ve had a problem starting your car, you’re hearing abnormal sounds, or you’d like us to check your engine starting system, just ask one of the experts at Dobbs.

“You Can Depend on Dobbs” – Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers, Home of the Fixed Forever Service Warranty. Locally and Family Owned Since 1976